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Book Marks

University of Glasgow Library

We’ve recently blogged about how examining physical marks in surviving old books can give us clues about whether they have been read or not. In this guest blog, Allie Newman, a current postgraduate student in Information, Management and Preservation, discusses a few other things physical marks can tell us about the producers and users of old books.

When undertaking research in a library special collections, you never know what you might find. Catalogues of the collection tend to give a good overview of what lurks in the pages of their books, but sometimes, you stumble upon things that are truly surprising. Recently while doing some research on an English bookbinder, I came across a rather grisly scene of book production gone wrong:

No, this is not the scene of an attempted book murder! This is a case of hand finishing (in this instance, rubrication of initials) gone wrong, but the bibliographic jury is…

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